Into the Wilds – West Kalimantan

Into the Wilds – West Kalimantan

Sitting on a woven mat, I listened as a Dayak Simpang elder explained, “Our history and our story are told through the old songs.” I was in Ketapang Regency, around four hours from Pontianak, the gateway city to West Kalimantan. I sat captivated as he continued, “We...
NAIK DANGO – A VIBRANT DAYAK CELEBRATION

NAIK DANGO – A VIBRANT DAYAK CELEBRATION

“Naik Dango is a very special time for us, a time to celebrate our unique culture and pay tribute to the ancestors. We have been holding this event for 30 years and share it between three regencies – Landak, Kuburaya and Mempawah.” These were the words of Karolin...
Sebangau – The Archipelago Journal

Sebangau – The Archipelago Journal

In less than two hours, you can fly from the bustle of Jakarta to the fringe of Sebangau National Park in Kalimantan Indonesia Borneo, world-famous for its orangutans. Stephanie Brookes takes an exotic river journey. I start my trek into Sebangau National Park at...
Setulang – Deep in the forest, North Kalimantan

Setulang – Deep in the forest, North Kalimantan

When I arrived at Setulang Village, I noticed there were no supermarkets to be seen anywhere. The village is located in North Kalimantan, miles from any major town. It is nestled along the edge of a forest which dates back 130 million years. I was greeted by my lovely...
The Dancing Masks of The Babukung

The Dancing Masks of The Babukung

Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan is a long way from anywhere. However, as soon as I heard about the Babukung Mask Festival held there every year, I went on the hunt to find out more. Not long afterwards—after two connecting flights from Jakarta to Pangkalan Bun—I...
Celebrating Indigenous Dance and Rituals at Gawai Festival

Celebrating Indigenous Dance and Rituals at Gawai Festival

The crocodile appeared on the stage in the form of a human. The dancer writhed and slithered, accompanied by the deep tones of the didgeridoo. This opening dance at the 2018 Gawai Festival was received with loud cheers from the crowd.The Gawai festival committee had...
Life in a Longhouse Sungai Utik Village

Life in a Longhouse Sungai Utik Village

“Spending time among the Dayak Iban is an awakening into a community very much in tune with its surroundings. Villagers welcome visitors into their fold, share space in Longhouses, take walks along the Utik River, long considered their source of life. The shared...
The Magic of Kalimantan

The Magic of Kalimantan

Kalimantan is an island offering superb snorkeling and diving, pristine rainforests, a rich array of exotic wildlife and is home to the Dayak people, some of the friendliest people in the world. Come on a journey to three handpicked places and discover what adventures...
Culture, Color and a Global Gathering at Gawai Festival

Culture, Color and a Global Gathering at Gawai Festival

Story by STEPHANIE BROOKES Photos by DAVID METCALF I stood with my blowpipe at the ready. “Gather strength from your core and aim high,” Agus advised. “We are excited to have an Australian team enter the competition and best of luck to you”, he added with a broad...